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Old 04-20-2014, 10:59 PM   #1
lpfm1990 OP
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Yamaha xs 400

I think this is the right section for this bike... Anyways.... So I'm looking into getting my 1st bike. And kinda want to stay in an older, smaller cc bike so I don't kill myself and cry if I drop it on its side, like I would if I bought a new/newer bike. So I have found a few bikes one was an enduro I posted in the one section. The other two bikes are an 78 xs 400, been mostly restored and has 11000 miles. Can get it for $1000, the other one is an 82 xs 400 seca. Which is a tad more modern looking. And appears to be a dual cam over single cam. But has an 85mph speedo (I think that ment it was a bike the govt mess with to lean out for the fuel crisis someone told me) and that bike has about 5500 miles if I remember right for $1100 or offer. Which bike would you choose? Pics to follow shortly of them. Thanks guys


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Old 04-20-2014, 11:02 PM   #2
lpfm1990 OP
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Here's the 78 xs. I kinda like this one being its a nice blue






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Old 04-20-2014, 11:05 PM   #3
lpfm1990 OP
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Here's the 82






Let me know your thoughts. Or suggestions. I'm open to everything. Just working on a tight budget, right now. About a $1000 is my max I can go


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Old 04-21-2014, 12:54 AM   #4
BossMaverick
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The biggest cost on older bikes are the nickel and dime stuff like tires, fork seals, battery, carburetors, chain/sprockets, ignition parts, electrical parts, rusty gas tank, clutch issues, rotted rubber parts (like carb boots), etc.

I would base on my decision based on which bike has had better maintenance, has been routinely ridden (bikes coming out of long term storage can be very expensive), and appears will need the least amount of nickel and dime stuff.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:54 AM   #5
NJ-Brett
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The 78 looks nice, not into the square look.
Its also got a kick starter to astound your friends with...
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:13 AM   #6
Alexander B
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You might be interested in the Yamaha XJ600n model from the 90s. Similar styling, smooth, bullet proof engine, great fuel economy etc. Six speeds and a bit more power than the 400s.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:10 AM   #7
Grainbelt
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I had an XS400 very briefly as a spare bike. I thought it was brilliant - kick and electric start, disc brakes front and rear, 6speed transmission. Really fun to rip around on. Mine was well worn and pretty scary above 70mph.

I'd agree with the post above about the tires, chain and sprockets, fork seals, carb boots, etc - take a pretty critical look at those, check the tires for date codes, and don't be afraid to beat the seller up about it for a hundred bucks or more if it is bad enough to be unsafe.

Subjectively, I like the Seca, but the condition is more important than the model in this price range.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:53 AM   #8
lpfm1990 OP
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Right, I walked away from a 80 cb750 last weekend. Between dry rotted tires, chain was so stiff and rusted, and a bunch if other things. Carb boots is one thing I knew to check, I have skidoo sleds. And that's one of their bad spots. So I with out thinking check them, fork seals I knew about also. Are the date codes just a month/year numbers like 08/13 or is it different? Both owners claim that they need nothing. But I can claim to own a big orange bridge in Cali also. I'm kinda leaning towards the 78, being it does have kick start just incase the battery crapped on me. And like the one guy said. Not so boxy looking


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Old 04-21-2014, 03:59 PM   #9
BossMaverick
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Modern tire date codes are usually the week and the year (example: 3910 would mean the 39th week of 2010). Depending on which opinion you want to listen to, you don't want tires older than 5 years old (but opinion on that varies).
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:55 PM   #10
Jimmy the Heater
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Well I have an 80 XS 400 that I rode for a number of years, sold it to a friend, then when she moved and couldn't take it with her, it came back to me.

I've never ridden the newer gen, so I can't speak as to them.

Mine was notorious for getting the carbs out of sync and not wanting to start when cold. Easiest way to check is if it sounds like its only running on 1 cylinder when it fires up, then above say 3k rpm it really revs.

The other thing is the plastic starter gear. Start and restart the bike several times to make sure the electric starter is functioning correctly.

Other than that, mine was a solid bike. Didn't like to go much above 65 mph but it was still fun.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:07 PM   #11
JerryH
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I'd go with the blue one. It is an XS400 Special, an early Japanese cruiser. The seat has been recovered, the pipes have been shortened, and the bars have been changed. They were rock solid bikes, kick and electric start, and a centerstand.

The red one is a Seca 400, what passed for a sport bike in the day. Also a good solid bike, not as comfortable as the XS400 Special, but nothing like the torture racks today's sport bikes are. It appears to be completely original.

The problem with Japanese bikes in that age range is an almost complete lack of parts. Don't even think about going to a dealer for parts, they will just laugh at you. If you can work on it yourself, many parts are still available used, in salvage yards and on eBay.

If you buy one of these bikes, I suggest checking out the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Owners Group http://www.vjmog.com/

and the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club http://www.vjmc.org/ They can be very helpful with these old bikes. Both have a classified section for buying and selling parts.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:40 PM   #12
tmills
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Just brought home an 83 Yamaha 400 Maxim for my wife not a bad little buggy


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Old 04-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #13
MacMcMacmac
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The Seca is a much better bike.
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